If a person invested everything they had in every ICO from the moment they became a “thing”, they’d now be sitting on a 1320% larger pile of cash than they initially invested, according to a report by European venture capital firm Mangrove Capital Partners.
In a section of their report, the firm remarks:
"If one had blindly invested €10,000 in every ICO, including the significant number of ICOs that failed, this would have delivered a +13.2x return."
More skeptical individuals may attribute a large chunk of this return to the rise in the value of Ether (rising from $8 at the beginning of the year to a peak of $390 in September), but the report explains that the cryptocurrency itself boomed because of the interest and investments in ICOs through the year.
“It is perfectly reasonable to assume that the value of Ether will continue to rise as more businesses opt to issue tokens and the ICO market matures,” the report continued.
The growth of ICOs might push more entrepreneurs to abandon traditional means of fundraising like venture capital. As Mangrove Capital Partners’ report suggests, a mature ICO market might push mid- and late-stage financing firms and their investment banks to the sidelines.
Other companies seem to see the writing on the wall as the financial powerhouse Goldman Sachs announced that it has plans to get more deeply involved in cryptocurrencies. A spokeswoman for the company said earlier this month that they are responding to interest from their clients.
Just a day after that happened, the firm’s CEO, Lloyd Blankfein, said that he is “still thinking about Bitcoin” and that “folks also were skeptical when paper money displaced gold”.
The ICO market’s development and Goldman Sachs’ involvement with cryptocurrencies are creating a snowball effect that people are finding more difficult to ignore. If they don’t catch the wave while it’s still surfer-friendly, they might just roll under it.